Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

While visiting a friend in the Bay Area in California, I got visit Dog Eared Books in San Francisco’s Mission District. The moment I saw Coraline by Neil Gaiman, I snatched it up. I’ve been wanting to read something by Neil Gaiman for months and I didn’t even think about it. While I bought the book in March, I didn’t actually read it until last month, November. I kept buying books and adding to my TBR and so earlier bought books kept getting pushed back.


The story of a bibliophile’s life, right?

The Plot

When I started this book, I had already seen the movie. I actually didn’t know it was a book until I saw the movie (which unfortunately happens to me way too often). So I knew the general events that would happen, but because I saw the movie so many years ago, this first reading was still new for me.

I really liked the simplicity of the plot. Coraline discovers an alternate world connected by a mysterious door in her new home. The passageway doesn’t appear until the second time she opens the door. She enters the world and finds herself in what seems like her flat, decorated the same, and her world except there are strange differences. Like her ‘other parents’ have black buttons as eyes. Coraline soon finds herself in a ‘nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror.’

The Characters

Coraline is a great example of what a young mind is like: curious, smart, and brave. Coraline loves to explore and she lets her curious personality lead her to all the nooks and crannies in and near her new home including her new neighbors: Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, retired actresses, and the mysterious and slightly eccentric Mr. Bobo.

Really all the characters are eccentric, excepting of course, Coraline’s ‘other mother’ who is definitely not what she seems.

The Writing

I really enjoyed Gaiman’s writing style. It was simplistic, but still powerful in descriptions and telling the story. This edition that I bought also had original drawings which of course were great additions to the storytelling.

What I Disliked

Nope. Nothing I disliked.

Overall, Coraline was a slightly creepy yet impactful story. Who would have thought that less descriptions could make a story so chilling?

Have you read this Gaiman story? Tell me what your thoughts were! Or do you have a different Gaiman recommendation?

Happy Reading!




10 thoughts on “Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

  1. I love Neil Gaiman! I enjoyed Coraline, but it’s actually my least favorite of the Gaiman books I’ve read. I’d recommend Stardust, American Gods, and The Graveyard Book, but Neverwhere is my favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m such a sucker for unadorned writing. When it comes to description I reckon less is more. I’m crazy about Gaiman’s style and Kafka’s and Hemingway’s and Palahniuk’s and what have you.

    Liked by 1 person

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